Cornstarch and Glue Play Dough

This cornstarch and glue play dough recipe came about when trying to make a batch of slime. We did not get anything resembling a fun slime – just a sticky mess. I refused to let the materials go to waste, so I experimented until we ended up with nice batch of play dough. It is soft and stretchy. I’m glad I was able to turn a recipe fail into something worth while.

Cornstarch and Glue Play Dough

Cornstarch and Glue Play Dough

The Search for a Safer Slime

This recipe started when I was searching for a safer way to make slime. I love the liquid starch and glue slime recipe {equal parts, super easy}, but have you read the ingredient list? Same goes for the borax and glue slimes. I’m not completely convinced that borax is safe for play. I know it’s definitely not safe to ingest. My 3 year old son still likes to taste the play doughs and slimes we make, so I need to be sure of the safety when I make something for him.

The Failed Recipe

I found a recipe from eHow for making slime with glue and cornstarch that looked interesting. I followed the directions and used only 1/4 of each ingredient. After adding the cornstarch to the glue, it looked promising. Then, we added the water. Now it looked too runny. No way that was going to be a decent slime. We were to wait 5 minutes. No change. Still looked like a sticky watery mess. I made some changes and created a soft and stretchy play dough. Not slime, but definitely fun. My son approved of the play dough.

The Soft and Stretchy Play Dough Recipe


  • 1/2 cup white school glue
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch plus more for kneading {at least a cup or so}
  • food coloring {optional}
  • 3/4 cup warm water


  1. Mix 1/2 cup white school glue together with 1/4 cup cornstarch in a bowl.
    Cornstarch and Glue Play Dough
  2. Stir in 3/4 cups of warm water.
  3. Add a few drops of food coloring until you get your desired color.
  4. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. {Not sure this step matters. It came from the original recipe. I followed this step, so I’m including it here.}
    Cornstarch and Glue Play Dough
  5. Transfer the mixture to a pan. Heat over low heat stirring occasionally. The mixture will come together into a very sticky play dough.
    Cornstarch and Glue Play Dough
  6. Transfer the dough to a mat or freezer paper. Allow the play dough to cool a bit.
  7. Once the play dough is cool enough to handle, add some corn starch {a good handful}. Knead the cornstarch into the play dough. You will notice it becomes less sticky. Keep kneading. The dough will become sticky again.
  8. Add more cornstarch. Knead again. Continue adding cornstarch and kneading until the dough is no longer sticky. {It’ll take a few handfuls of cornstarch.}

Cornstarch and Glue Play Dough

Have Fun with the Play Dough

Aiden wanted blue food coloring for our play dough. The additional cornstarch looked like snow or ice, so we added our baby sea animals that Safari Ltd sent us a while back. {See how we played with the backyard bird replicas they sent us, too.}

Play Dough and Safari Ltd Animals

Play dough becomes the vehicle for pretend play and allowing imaginations to take off.

More Play Dough and Slime Recipes

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